Global Comparison: Theory and Method - RSST6520

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module provides an introduction to the theoretical, methodological and socio-political issues pertaining to the cross-cultural and comparative study of philosophies, ideas, worldviews and religions. It will introduce and explore theoretical frameworks and methodological questions related to the translation and representation of ideas, texts and worldviews as explored by different theories of interpretation. It will also explore issues surrounding understanding rituals, cultural practices and modes of identity formation and reflect upon the nature of 'the global' and ‘globalisation’ as categories. Questions to be explored in this module would normally include: how does one determine the meaning of a text? What hermeneutic, ethical and political issues arise when translating a concept, idea or practice from one linguistic, cultural or historical context into another? What are the challenges and pitfalls of comparative analysis? How do ideas, texts and forms of identity take on new meanings in the global circulation of ideas, practices and people? How does the mode of media/technology (oral composition, printed text, film, digital representation) impact upon thinking and its interpretation?


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 40
Total Private Study Hours: 260
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Essay 1 (2,500 words) – 40%
Essay 2 (3,000 words) – 50%
Presentation (10 minutes) – 10%

Reassessment methods
100% Coursework (3,000 words)

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the theoretical and methodological challenges involved in the comparative and cross-cultural study of worldviews, philosophies and religions;
2 Demonstrate an awareness of the key hermeneutical questions arising from translation from one language and cultural context to another;
3 Contrast texts, concepts, ideas and practices from different intellectual and cultural traditions;
4 Demonstrate a thorough awareness of the social, historical and cultural context in which ideas, practices and forms of identity develop;
5 Demonstrate a significant understanding of one or more theoretical and/or methodological approaches to cross-cultural interpretation.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate a capacity to engage critically with a variety of scholarly resources to extend their understanding, evaluate evidence and construct a persuasive argument;
2 Present complex information in an intelligent and coherent fashion to both specialist and non-specialist audiences;
3 Demonstrate qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment such as exercising personal responsibility and decision-making;
4 Engage successfully in a focused research project and present the results in an effective and persuasive manner.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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